I’m not sure what exactly had sparked it, but we had been “off” in our relationship; and to be honest, we had been off for awhile. We were getting on each other’s nerves quicker, we weren’t being intentional with our words or actions, and planning a romantic date night or writing a little love note? Those things just weren’t happening.
This was just a month ago.
Honestly, I think that we just weren’t nurturing our relationship. Neither of us were really thinking about how we (us, our relationship, our marriage) were doing, and when you aren’t putting any intentional effort into something (that can be both physical effort or mental effort), you can only expect that the thing in which you aren’t putting effort into is going to suffer.
It would have been easy to ignore that something was “off.” Because, after all, everyone argues and gets on each other’s nerves once in awhile and nothing in particular was wrong.
Does this sound familiar?
Why are we okay with settling for this in our marriages?
It can be so easy to get caught up in all of the to-dos of our day-to-day lives and in the millions of things that are vying for our attention everywhere we look. It can be so easy to focus our time and energy on those things instead of what we should be focusing our time and attention on. And while nothing “major” has happened in your marriage, all of a sudden, several months go by and you realized that you’re (maybe?) feeling disconnected from your spouse (because you haven’t been nurturing the relationship as you should)? You’re not exactly sure and perhaps you question if your feelings are valid because nothing “happened” and nothing is really wrong, so you continue on as you have been and the cycle only continues.
And then all of a sudden you’re somewhere you don’t want to be in your marriage.
Someone once told us, “Don’t wait for winter to come before you figure out what’s wrong in your marriage. Anticipate the coming of winter and be proactive to stop it from coming so you can stay in summer.” Of course, these seasons are metaphorical for challenging and sweet seasons of our lives, but this advice has stuck with us and it is something we sincerely live by.
Don’t wait until you’re in winter. Don’t expect that it has to come.
When you’re feeling disconnected, choose to have those difficult conversations about why. Listen to each other, extend grace, and gosh darn it, stop being so stubborn (this one is tough). If you’re anything like me, summer is your favorite season. But it takes a lot of work to stay there.
For more posts in our Marriage Monday series, click here!